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By Fr. Frederick Faber, Catholic Exchange, Nov. 17, 2021
Frederick William Faber, Cong. Orat. was a noted English hymn writer and theologian, who converted from Anglicanism to the Catholic priesthood.
This article is adapted from a chapter in Fr. Faber’s The Little Book of Holy Gratitude. It is available as an ebook or paperback through Sophia Institute Press.
The Joy of Thankful Souls
The love of gratitude is preeminently a mindful love. It ponders things and lays them up in its heart, as our Blessed Lady did. It meditates fondly on the past, as Jacob did.
It sings of old mercies and makes much of them, like David in the psalms. Whereas another has the memory of his sins continually before him, a soul possessed with the love of gratitude is perpetually haunted by a remembrance of past benefits; and his abiding sorrow for sin is a sort of affectionate and self-reproachful reaction from his wonder at the abundant loving-kindness of God.
The hideousness of sin is all the more brought out when the light of God’s love is thrown so strongly on it. Hence it comes to pass that a very grateful man is also a deeply penitent man; and as the excess of benefits tends to lower us in our own esteem, so we are humble in proportion to our gratitude. But this love does not rest in the luxurious sentiment of gratitude. It breaks out into actual and ardent thanksgiving, and its thankfulness is not confined to words. …